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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just got back from a 3,000ish mile 7 day trip through some of the beautiful and often desolate southwestern US (Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona). We live in the southern, bottom part of Texas so it takes a day just to get out of the state. Although we've done many long drives here in Texas in the Clarity, this was our longest tour to date and first in real mountains.

Some quick notes:

Sport mode+4 chevron regen (when not in cruise).
Actual total miles: 2857.5
Gallons: 72.0
Charges: 5 full charges (home, AirBnB, and hotel)
MPG: 40mpg calculated. 43.0 indicated
Speeds: 65-85mph highways and interstates. Hit 104 mph speed limiter once (passing downhill).
Gas stops: smallest 1.5 gal; highest 5.8 gal
Longest day: 865 miles/15.5 hours
Advertised/planned charge stations along routes: zero
Ventilated seat covers: awesome!
Two adults + luggage, spare, small but heavy floor jack/tools, small 12v refrigerator, 2 cases water, etc.
Issues: One TMPS warning (recalibration fixed it), I let the car fall into HV mode with zero EV miles in the mountains once.



Observations:

HV+ worked EXTREMELY well in the mountains/high power conditions; however on day three, I let the EV miles fall to 3.8 miles before switching over to HV+ and it didn't "take" eventually draining the battery to zero. Uggh. We couldn't find anywhere to charge. Real public chargers were nearly 80 miles away and our BnB was an old victorian house with no outside electrical service + an extension cord tripping hazard to the street only parking even if we could.

So, we started the next day's leg, a long climb in the western NM mountains, with a lot of angry bees! The car operated fine, just a lot of high engine rpm sounds of an engine working hard. It was in the extreme top sections of the mountain drive though that I did experience what some folks describe as a power loss. In my case, the throttle became VERY independent of vehicle speed (similar to fanning the clutch to those with manual transmission experience) and needed much more application to maintain speed. RPM remained very high nearly all the time. I would NOT classify it as an emergency "turtle-mode" though (BTDT in Prius); it's just a very low-power state one should avoid. Basically it felt like the ICE and one MG were working on charging the battery while the other MG was left to propelled a 4,000 lb car.

And avoiding it is easy to do: just keep some EV miles in the battery so HV+ mode can be called upon anytime a buffer is needed (my previous gen 1volt called this mountain mode). We found that driving in HV+ in these challenging conditions produced less NVH (noise, vibrations, harshness) overall than HV mode. YMMV. This would be so easy for Honda to avoid by letting the car regen EV miles back into the battery so HV+ can be activated again. Or simply allowing HV+ to activate when there is zero miles; even if this option was only available in Park it would be better than nothing.

The rest of the trip in other mountain zones, I switched to HV+ at around 10 EV miles with no further issues. In fact I noticed that while in cruise control, the Clarity easily "beats" most other vehicles, even those with much bigger V8 engines, up fast, steep mountain roads. Electric torque is always available; NOW. Heehee.

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Several long days in the seats (touring model) with ventilated seat covers. Our longest day was 15 hours on the return leg as I decided to skip a final hotel and continue home. Never got truly uncomfortable (I am in shape and regularly exercise).

Saw very few BEV's; mostly on i-10 which was clogged with commercial truck traffic (like really heavy in some sections). On the non-interstate legs, I saw ZERO BEV's and very, very few 18 wheelers. You can see why:

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VERY limited cell service and spotty. Very comforting knowing I had a spare when the TMPS warning came on out in the middle of nowhere (recal fixed it tho'; whew!!!).

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Our Holiday Inn in Albuquerque NM had four chargepoint chargers and they worked even as a non-member (used ApplePay). Saw our first Jeep plug-in there!
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Getting a free charge from a 120v receptacle in the front yard of our AirBnB in Texas (and 2 nights at a home in AZ):
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Watching the fireworks on the 4th of July in west Texas while getting that charge:
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Our Clarity screen installed. A/C worked great, zero issues. Highest temp seen on Clarity thermometer: 110f in southwestern Colorado.
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Being able to get off the beaten path (intestates) and travel to places few others go? Priceless


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Nice trip. I forgot to switch our Clarity to HV Charge in time and even at the 40 MPH speed limit up Grand Mesa in Colorado the engine was really working hard. The fact that you didn't see BEVs when off the interstates doesn't surprise me - there's no charging for them off the interstates. Those of use with PHEVs can refill the gas tank though.
 

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This would be so easy for Honda to avoid by letting the car regen EV miles back into the battery so HV+ can be activated again. Or simply allowing HV+ to activate when there is zero miles; even if this option was only available in Park it would be better than nothing.
HV Charge has worked for me with 0 EV miles, not sure why it didn't work for you. Maybe the battery temperature was too high at that time. Although you would think it would give you a message on the display telling you why HV Charge was not available.
 

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HV Charge has worked for me with 0 EV miles, not sure why it didn't work for you. Maybe the battery temperature was too high at that time. Although you would think it would give you a message on the display telling you why HV Charge was not available.
If you're already in the mountains with no battery charge, HV charge simply doesn't work because the ICE output is completely taken for propulsion up the road.
 

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If you're already in the mountains with no battery charge, HV charge simply doesn't work because the ICE output is completely taken for propulsion up the road.
In the write up they said that HV Charge worked if they already had some EV miles but not when they didn't. They further stated:

"This would be so easy for Honda to avoid by letting the car regen EV miles back into the battery so HV+ can be activated again. Or simply allowing HV+ to activate when there is zero miles"
 

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In the write up they said that HV Charge worked if they already had some EV miles but not when they didn't. They further stated:

"This would be so easy for Honda to avoid by letting the car regen EV miles back into the battery so HV+ can be activated again. Or simply allowing HV+ to activate when there is zero miles"
Missed that. But in that case there may be a problem with the car. I've used HV Charge from zero EV miles. The more critical design flaw with the Clarity is that you can't put the car into HV Charge with a full battery and have the car stay in EV mode until you reach the max HV Charge amount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
If you're already in the mountains with no battery charge, HV charge simply doesn't work because the ICE output is completely taken for propulsion up the road.
Yeah and it’s underpowered for that so nothing really left over to build EV miles.

HV Charge has worked for me with 0 EV miles, not sure why it didn't work for you. Maybe the battery temperature was too high at that time. Although you would think it would give you a message on the display telling you why HV Charge was not available.
Temps could be part of the reason.

We did notice that while in EV mode the blue/gray ring on the power meter INCREASED substantially on the trip in the cooler mountains. At home, it normally ends around the 2pm position but on the trip it extended to around the 4pm position (nearly maxed out). Now that were home again, it’s back at 2. We also saw 50mi + EV estimates after charging there but back to low 40’s again here at home. The algorithm seems really affected by regen. Speaking of, at times I also experienced a max of 3 regen chevrons when I tried to select all four in sport mode. FWIW

During the lower power event when climbing up and over a peak, I even tried stopping at a pull out and restarting the car to see if I could get it into HV+. I even held the button for about 10 secs in a second attempt. Nothing doing.

Yeah, I’m thinking now the battery was simply too hot and the software wouldn’t allow HV+. My C-Max with an air-cooled battery has an 113F cutoff.
 

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I also experienced a max of 3 regen chevrons when I tried to select all four in sport mode.
At higher speeds only three chevrons are available. I use normal mode and there is a freeway offramp that I take where I am exiting at 70 mph, then it's a long coast to a signal light. If I try four chevrons just after exiting it just blinks then stays at three chevrons. Only after the car has slowed down to about 40 mph will it let me select four chevrons. I have heard that higher battery temperatures will also limit it to three chevrons.
 
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